Installing new kitchen countertops is one of the most dramatic ways to express your sense of style in your home. Whether made from a natural stone such as granite or quartz or another such as laminate or solid surface, countertops can enhance your lifestyle and add equity to your home. This buying guide explains the features and maintenance requirements for each type of surface so you can feel confident you’re selecting the countertop that will work with your lifestyle for years to come.
Your Countertops at a Glance
Start With How You Use Your Kitchen
To find the countertop that works best for your home and lifestyle, start by taking a look at how you use your kitchen. If yours is like many households, you want a countertop that complements your overall kitchen décor while standing up to everyday use for your family without too much maintenance. On the other hand, if you entertain guests often, you may prefer a countertop with all of these features plus a more elegant look and finish. By offering a wide range of countertop materials, styles, finishes and colors, the Home Depot makes it easy for you to match your countertop to your lifestyle.
Factors to Consider
There’s a countertop to match almost any budget, with laminate countertops at the lower end of the spectrum and wood or metal countertops among the more higher-priced materials. If cost-effectiveness is an important factor for your project, consider sturdy and easy-to-care for laminate or even solid surface countertops. If visual appeal and style is more important, explore the look and features of natural stone countertops like those from Stonemark® Granite or Silestone® Quartz.
Some countertop materials and styles require little maintenance. When it’s time to clean up, just use a soft cloth and mild soap or detergent and they're ready for use again. On the other hand, those made from specialty materials like marble and other natural stone surfaces, may require more maintenance.
How you use your kitchen plays an important role in the type of countertops you choose and how they are integrated into your kitchen as a whole. For some, the kitchen is more of a "work" area than a "show" area. If you plan to use your kitchen more as an area for entertaining, there are options in each of our unique surfaces that show off your unique style.
Composed of natural stone that’s endured for millions of years, granite countertops are a favorite choice for many homeowners who use their kitchens as a way to express their unique style and taste. Granite countertops are extremely hard and durable and highly stain, scratch and heat resistant. Granite slab viewing and selection available in most areas.
Unlike generic granite which requires annual sealing, Stonemark Granite, available exclusively at The Home Depot, features a revolutionary anti-stain technology that requires no sealing for at least 15 years. While granite countertops will hold up to virtually all ordinary kitchen use, they aren't indestructible and will chip or break if they're mistreated.
Quartz is the natural choice that provides a unique feel and offers a non-porous and scratch resistant surface that’s ideal for use in the kitchen. Made from engineered stone, quartz countertops require no sealing or polishing. Silestone® Quartz countertops offer a choice of more than 50 dazzling, gem-like colors in two distinct finishes for your kitchen. Silestone features built-in anti-microbial protection, which makes the surface impervious to bacteria, mold and mildew.
Like granite, quartz is extremely durable but it will break and can be damaged with prolonged exposure to high heat from hot pans or plates. Avoid cleaning quartz with strong chemical cleaners or solvents.
Solid surface countertops are made from sturdy acrylic materials that are easy to care for and highly resistant to bacteria, mold and mildew. Solid surface countertops are durable, non-porous and offer a seamless appearance, making them a popular choice for active households. Solid surface countertops are available in more than 130 colors as well as a wide range of patterns designed to mimic the look of stone, granite and quartz.
Solid surface countertops are less resistant to scratches and heat than their stone counterparts but they can be easily renewed and are usually a more affordable countertop choice.
One of the most cost-effective countertop options, laminate has long been a popular surface for kitchen countertops. Composed of a sturdy particleboard core with layers of tough bonded plastic, laminate offers durability as well as a broad variety of colors, patterns and textures that mirror the look of more expensive surfaces.
Laminate countertops are vulnerable to scratches, cuts and heat, so using a cutting board or trivet is recommended. Care must also be taken to clean wine or other stain-causing liquids quickly, as they can discolor the surface.
A wood island-top adds warmth to your kitchen and complements your other countertop surfaces. Available exclusively at The Home Depot, Heirloom custom wood countertops are available in a variety of premium and domestic woods, from luxurious Black Walnut to exotic Zebrawood. Unique shading and grain patterns in the wood add to the natural beauty.
Finished with organic, penetrating waterproof oil that repels moisture and resists stains, Heirloom wood countertops are also extremely durable, easy to maintain and the non-porous surface can be kept sanitary and safe for food. They are put through a rigorous quality inspection process and are backed with a limited lifetime warranty on seams. Please call your local Home Depot to confirm availability.
Stainless Steel & Copper
For a clean, sophisticated look, consider adding stainless steel or copper countertops. As functional as they are elegant, these durable surfaces provide a striking hygienic space for food preparation and can be custom-built to any size or shape. Complement your metal countertop with a variety of enhancements, from backsplashes and integrated sinks to cutting board inserts or beveled edges. Designer finish options include leather embossed stainless steel or hand-woven seared patina copper. Please call your local Home Depot to confirm availability.
Corners, Edges & Inlays
Personalize the look of your countertops with your choice of edging styles. Add straight or beveled edges for a contemporary look, or bring a traditional elegance to your kitchen with the timeless curves of an S-shaped Ogee design. Rounded profiles like the Bullnose work with almost any design and are less likely to chip. For a more personalized design, add a custom or patterned inlay.
Sinks & Faucets
If you’re installing new countertops, you’ll need to replace both your sink and faucet. Sinks mount to countertops in various ways, including drop-in, undermount and apron styles. Solid surface countertops can be created with an integrated sink seamlessly molded into the material. The countertop material and style you select determines the complexity of the installation. Browse our wide range of sinks online or at your local The Home Depot, or get a select Stainless Steel sink installed with your countertop though our Revere program.
Make a statement about your personal style in your kitchen with a distinctive, unique shape for your countertop incorporating unique angles or curves. To create these custom cut shapes, such as a 45 degree angle over a corner cabinet, additional countertop material may be required in order to generate the desired shape.